Taylor Swift – 1989

Taylor Swift - 1989

Taylor Swift has become known for a specific brand of pop/country that was all her own. She took the girl-next-door image and built herself around it with lyrics about the good and bad of relationships she’s had, doing so with innocence. She used her growing celebrity status, and subsequently the status of the men she was romantically linked with to her advantage, making her song lyrics the primary talking point about her.

She became a superstar singer known for her songwriting – kind of a rarity in today’s celebrity-driven culture. Love her or hate her, you knew a Swift song when you heard one.

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Maroon 5 – V

Maroon 5 - V

A lot has changed for Maroon 5 since breaking out in 2003. They just earned their second #1 album, had a series of chart-topping hits and lead singer Adam Levine has become one of the biggest names in primetime.

They’ve also pretty much become an ego-boosting side project: The Adam Levine Project.

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Birdy – Fire Within

Birdy - Fire Within

Birdy entered my radar with Just A Game from the first Hunger Games soundtrack in 2012, but it wasn’t until her cover of Bon Iver‘s Skinny Love reached my ears earlier this year that she really caught my attention.

That song originally appears on her debut album released three years ago, where it was also her first single in the UK (reaching #17). It was given similar treatment for her North American introduction, albeit strange considering it’s a three year old piano-ballad cover from an album loaded with more suitable-for-radio tracks.

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One Direction – Midnight Memories

One Direction - Midnight Memories

Having never jumped on the boy band bandwagon before, I know that I’m out of One Direction‘s target audience. Yet, they’re still intriguing because, while they’re a singing group, they’re also celebrities who cater to teenage fans just like the boy bands of a decade ago, and the decade before that.

Like boy bands of years gone, One Direction will one day serve as a form of nostalgia for today’s youth who will listen back to these songs and longingly say their era of teen pop was the best. Admittedly I can now say a decade and a half later that some hits by the Backstreet Boys are some of my 90s guilty pleasures. So while I’m not the intended audience for 1D, I was once part of an age group for similar acts.

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